Martin O'Donnell benefited from an outrageous fluke to help him claim victory over Ben Woollaston in the first round of the Snooker Shoot Out.
Woollaston had eked out a decent 34-point advantage, but he failed to put the frame to bed and a missed black handed the table to O'Donnell.
He picked off reds and low-value colours to eat into Woollaston’s lead, but needed to go into the pack off the green. He got the direction of travel correct, but he stuck on the reds and all hope appeared lost.
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“He’s unlucky there,” Eurosport’s Neal Foulds said of the pack failing to split. “He can’t roll into the reds, so what is he going to do?”
As good as players are at the top of the game, a slice of luck is always welcome. O'Donnell got a huge, great big chunk of one as he smashed the balls in a hit-and-hope exercise.
It did not look likely to pay off as the balls scattered around the table, but the eye was drawn to a red trundling along the surface and it duly dropped into the left middle pocket.
“That is enough to bring you to tears when that happens,” was Foulds’ assessment of the fluke.
What a fluke that was. He did not know what to do and he just whacked everything.
O'Donnell still needed to make a couple of pots to get over the line, but he took full advantage of his slice of fortune to progress to round two.
In the opening match of the evening, Mark Williams got the better of his fellow Welshman Paul Davies to advance.
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